LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — No matter how long they kept the numerous rallies alive or made quality passes, the members of the St. Francis High volleyball team couldn't hammer out the key points when needed.
Consider it a lesson learned for the Golden Knights.
As far as St. Francis Coach Mark Frazee was concerned after the host Golden Knights fell to Chaminade, 25-13, 19-25, 25-17, 28-26, in a Mission League match, there's still enough time to regroup and remain in contention for a playoff spot.
"We have a few things that we need to be able to clean up," said Frazee, whose team dropped to 4-3, 1-3 in league. "We missed some key serves that cost us an awful lot of points and we've been working on getting better at it.
"Prior to [Thursday], the six games that we lost in league was a point differential of three. It's a pretty even league and it's tough. We'll look to bounce back."
St. Francis finished with 12 serving errors, giving Chaminade (4-4, 1-4) momentum. For instance, the Eagles used a late 8-3 run in the third game, capitalizing on three serving errors in that stretch by the Golden Knights.
The team appeared to be heading to a decisive fifth game, but the Eagles managed to fight off a game point on a kill by T.J. Henzgen to knot it at 25. Chaminade took a 26-25 lead before St. Francis tied it at 26, but the Eagles got the last two points on lengthy rallies.
"Chaminade earned a lot of their points and they just kept making the plays," Frazee said.
The Golden Knights received 14 kills from opposite hitter Nick De Cesare and 13 from opposite hitter Wesley Coffey.
De Cesare said the Golden Knights need to regroup from the defeat with league matches next week against Crespi and Loyola.
"That last game was tough, but the character of our team came out in that game," De Cesare said. "We fought hard to the end and a few mistakes here and there killed us.
"We want to find the right balance and get ready [for the next match]."
Chaminade controlled the tempo throughout the first game, racing to an 18-9 advantage and never looking back.
In the second game, St. Francis took a 20-16 lead on a kill by outside hitter/middle blocker Charles McCarthy. The Golden Knights then used 5-3 run to even the match at 1.
St. Francis got 39 assists from Chris Thompson.